What Is a Retirement Community and Is It Right for You?
A retirement community can be an ideal situation for retired citizens that would like to be surrounded by their peers, cannot or don't want to live on their own, and want to ensure a certain type of lifestyle. Retirement communities are not for everyone, however, as a number of factors come into play, such as cost, need for living assistance, family dynamic and preferences of activities.
What a Retirement Community Offers
A retirement community is a housing complex designed for the elderly who may need a certain level of assistance for general living or who simply want to live among like-minded individuals with a similar lifestyle. Activities for socialization and exercise are often the main highlights of the community.
The Pros of a Retirement Community
Retirement communities offer a wide range of advantages, but a few stand out as deciding factors. Many retirees see their newly found freedom as an opportunity to relocate. Southern California, Florida and Arizona are popular for their sought-after climates.
Another upside of the retirement community is a calendar full of organized activities for all of the down time retirees enjoy. This provides not only opportunities for socializing, but also acquiring new skills and exercise. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, on-site medical care and caretakers are often available. This service can range in attentiveness and quality, so adequate research is recommended.
The Cons of a Retirement Community
Retirement can mean different things to different people, so a retirement community isn't necessarily for everyone. Higher quality and more popular communities can have longer waiting lists, and joining a retirement community may involve tiresome approval processes. Moreover, many have rules and regulations that can stifle the freedom retirees are seeking. Restrictions include pet allowances, rules regarding noise and even parking restrictions.
All of the amenities offered at a retirement community can make residents feel like they're enjoying a resort. However, strict or very active communities can make retirees feel stifled. Research different types of retirement communities, understand each one's culture and rules, and take tours to make sure this type of lifestyle is appropriate for your needs and wants.